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February 10, 2010

Ready for 'Armageddon'

Manchester man nabbed on multiple weapons charges

MANCHESTER — A Manchester man who told police he was preparing for "Armageddon" has been charged with having explosive hand grenade "devices" and a stockpile of weapons and ammunition in his Bridge Street condominium.

Gregory Girard, 45, was arrested at 11:22 Tuesday night after the Police Department was notified by the federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Bureau in Boston that they received a report of Girard possessing explosive hand-grenade devices along with a cache of other weapons.

Girard, who lived at 23B Bridge St., with his wife and 16-year-old son, was charged with four counts of possession of grenade type explosive devices — including tear gas and explosive pepper ball canisters — and four counts of possession of dangerous weapons which include two police fixed batons and two police expandable batons.

He is being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing tomorrow in Salem District Court, where he pleaded not guilty to the multiple weapons charges yesterday at his arraignment.

On Monday, Girard's wife, a psychiatrist, contacted town police to express concern about her husband's increasing paranoia and apparent stockpiling of weapons, prosecutor Honor Segal said yesterday in court.

Kristine Girard told police that, while her husband hadn't threatened her, she was afraid to return home after an argument.

She said her husband had recently told her, "Don't talk to people, shoot them instead," and "It's fine to shoot people in the head because traitors deserve it," Segal said, reading from a police report. The ATF received its tip from a friend of Girard's wife.

He was also charged with discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, because an illegal shooting range was set up in an attic storage area littered with shell casings. Girard said in court that he fires his .22-caliber rifle inside of that loft area and had installed a steel backstop.

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